Those of us who live in the Southeastern United States, or “The South” as we call it, have a diversity of backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences. But how closely do we examine ourselves and our neighbors?
I have lived in Atlanta, the urban center of the South, for the past three decades. It’s a beautiful, flawed, infuriating city.
The events of 2020, from the racial justice movement to the election to the COVID pandemic, have all served to thrust the longstanding issues of the South into national (and even worldwide) discussions again. The long, long road to equality, equity, justice, and responsible governance runs directly through the South.
What needs to happen for us to begin to approach the Beloved Community that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., described? Discussions like the ones I hope to have here, even the lighthearted ones (or maybe especially the lighthearted ones) can play a part. However, it would perpetuate the problem to pretend that personal interactions alone will solve our problems. The Beloved Community must be supported and abutted by responsible governance at all levels and across all types of organizations, from informal neighborhood groups to the United Nations.